A Homeschooly Update

February 9, 2018

Dear Family,

“The true test of character is not how much we know how to do, but how we behave when we don't know what to do.”
― John Holt

——

Way back at the beginning of the autumn, I decided our family’s homeschooling approach needed a massive upgrade. I’m still planning a separate update on this, but basically: I sat down with the kids and told them that in addition to following their interests over the course of the next year, I was going to implement a semi-compulsory yet very flexible daily educational structure.

Some Forthright Autumnal Quotations

December 24, 2017

“Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you don’t owe.”

—Dr. Bill Hang, my orthodontist

——

Ivyisms:

Ivy: “Knock knock!”
Jem: “Who’s there?”
Ivy: “Butt!”
Jem: “Butt who?”
Ivy: “My butt, right here!”

“I want a ponytail SPROUTING OUT of my head, wik wis, and one in the back, right here, poking up to the sky.”

Ivy: “Kitty won’t eat!”
Me: “Oh, darn, what will you do?”
Ivy, definitively: “She’ll eat. [Grabbing the portable speaker.] And she can have music. It’s good for her!”

Birthday Request

November 12, 2017

Dear Family,

I'll admit, I'm not always the best with birthdays. Even when my family makes me the nicest birthday cards ever. I'm just so tired of children crying and requiring feeding after I cook expensive, delicious food for them. And I don't want to get any older. Plus, I'm super tired of Anything Difficult. Plus, on top of everything else, I got my braces installed this week, which means my mouth hurts AND I get to eat everything pureed (and let me tell you, pureed sauerkraut and kale and chicken is Not Good).

Dietary Tweak #7,562, plus Additional Reading

October 15, 2017

Dear Family,

“Men dig their graves with their own teeth and die by those fated instruments more than the weapons of their enemies.”

—Sixteenth-century British naturalist and physician Thomas Moffett

——

Several of you have reached out to express Concern relating to the recent health issues in our family; thanks for the virtual hugs! A current update: for the past two weeks, Eliza’s been feeling/behaving MUCH better.

Moab and How We Got Here (Part 1)

August 29, 2017

Dear Family

Thanks very much for your sentiments of support. These were much appreciated this morning, when I woke up feeling like I’d been rammed by a truck while Ivy and Eliza unconcernedly began whining for breakfast.

Eliza is still whining now, but it is bedtime and I am attempting to distract myself by writing, with the hope that she will please lord FALL ASLEEP REALLY FREAKING SOON. Amen.

——

The Story of Tonight

August 28, 2017

In case you were thinking that Ivy is just too precious and cute for words, I have a story for you. After this story, maybe one of you can take her home with you. Maybe you can take Eliza, too!

It started after dinner, when Eliza was crying and whining and complaining and feeling generally rotten and making sure that everyone around her knew it. As her parent, it takes a certain amount of fortitude not to succumb during these frequent bouts of Utter Unpleasantness, and I’ve found that it’s best to Keep Busy. So I was clearing the table.

Grow So Fast

August 27, 2017

Ivy Lyn, age 2.5, is a very busy lady. When there’s a lot of activity around her, she’s very self-contained and invents dozens of little games. But here’s what happens if I try to sit down and read a book in her presence for, say, five minutes.

“Mama!”

“Yes, baby?”

“I need to pee really bad!”

I get up, get the potty, sit back down.

“I’m done!”

I get up, wipe Ivy’s bottom, empty the potty, and sit back down.

“Mama, I want to ride my balance bike!”

“Great Idea! Can you get your helmet, and I’ll put it on for you?”

Unschooling Is My Job

June 15, 2017

(originally published in 2002)
by Ruthe Friedner Matilsky

It isn’t easy being me.

For the last several weeks I have been telling people that I must be doing something wrong because “It was supposed to get easier.” Two of my five kids are out of the house, everyone’s way out of diapers, we sleep through the night and _they all know how to read_. So why am I so frazzled?

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